The Colorado governor called the restaurant’s defiance of orders an ‘immediate health hazard’
On Monday, Colorado state officials suspended the license of a Castle Rock restaurant that defied state orders to open on Mother’s Day, permitting a large crowd to gather inside the restaurant’s dining room. Statewide public health orders are still limiting restaurants to take-out and delivery services amid the coronavirus pandemic.
C&C Coffee and Kitchen has had its business license suspended indefinitely until it no longer creates a threat to public health. The restaurant, which will likely be closed for at least 30 days, poses “an immediate health hazard,” according to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis.
“I hope, I pray that nobody falls sick from businesses that chose to violate the law,” Polis said when announcing the suspension during a press conference. “But if the state didn’t act and more businesses followed suit, it’s a near guarantee that people would lose their lives and it would further delay the opening of legitimate businesses.”
C&C Coffee and Kitchen garnered national attention after a video of the restaurant went viral on Mother’s Day, showing hordes of people filling up tables and the patio — and forming a line outside the door.
Not many people appeared to be wearing masks or practicing any sort of social distancing, according to the video.
Astonishingly, the restaurant remained open yesterday — after being suspended and told to shut down by the county health department — and customers continued to dine in.
“I expected it to be busy. I never expected this,” owner April Arellano told Colorado Community Media. “I’m so happy so many people came out to support the Constitution and stand up for what is right. We did our time. We did our two weeks. We did more than two weeks…and we were failing. We had to do something.”
Currently, Colorado is in level two of the state’s Safer at Home restrictions. “Coloradans are no longer ordered to stay home, but are strongly advised to stay at home,” the state’s website states. “Critical businesses are open and non-critical businesses are operating with restrictions.”
Those restrictions still include restaurants operating as take-out only throughout the remainder of the second phase.
“We are disappointed that C&C Breakfast & Korean Kitchen, a Cookies and Crema Company in Castle Rock, has decided to ignore the Governor’s Safer at Home order and open up today with no attention to social distancing,” Tri-County Health Department spokesperson Becky O’Guin tells Colorado Community Media.
“This decision runs the risk of undermining the impact that other Douglas County businesses and residents have achieved over the last seven weeks by taking various social distancing measures. As the entity charged with enforcing the Governor’s statewide Safer at Home Public Health Order, we will follow up with this restaurant to ensure that they, like other restaurants in the county, take appropriate steps to protect the public health, by limiting service to curbside and take-out service.”